ELAC’s club outreach struggle reaching out to students

By: Jennifer Valenzuela

East Los Angeles College does not advertise clubs enough throughout the school year. 

The majority of students took courses online and had no idea that campus clubs integrate online meetings throughout the year. 

Due to COVID-19, most students accessed social media, Canvas, and the school website to view announcements. 

“I wish they would use social media more. Not just for events and announcements, but also interacting with others in the community,” Gustavo Villarreal said. 

He hardly heard a word about any club unless another student brought it up. He noticed that when he walked on campus, the board by the entrance had little information on currently active clubs. 

“It’s not enough to just walk around when many of us are doing online,” Villarreal said. 

Some clubs may not be entirely focused on careers, but they benefit students’ futures. Being exposed to a diverse group leads to the development of leadership and communication skills. 

Opportunities can be shared as positions in leadership and implemented activities allow students to explore themselves. 

A list of officially chartered clubs showed 20 clubs that were never brought to attention. It was challenging to find this list. 

ELAC freshman Perla Patricio said the school site confused her. 

She tried to look up clubs that were of interest to her. She had to dig deep to find any information about the club’s current meeting time. 

“I think it would be helpful if there was a page dedicated to the clubs,” Patricio said.  

The missing information also contributed to new students feeling discouraged. 

“The lack of movement in clubs is what’s stopping me. I found some that I would like to join, but they are not active, so it discourages me” Patricio said. 

ELAC student Armenia K. Ward believes that online classes have only furthered this lack of attention to clubs. Because of the increased use of Zoom, not every club that is on campus is correctly advertised. 

“They need to do more, as some departments have been destroyed by this Zoom University, especially visual and performing arts,” Ward said.

The visual and performing arts continue to suffer a lack of attention thanks to the school focusing on other activities.

There are experiences that students are being robbed of because of the school’s failure to promote these clubs and their activities. 

Students should have every opportunity to gain important skills that will positively affect them in their future careers. Some campus clubs provide that chance and that knowledge.

It’d be helpful if the school website were to organize clubs differently by having a page dedicated to them. It’s more organized and easy to read if there was a list of recently updated info that explains the club’s mission statements and meetup times.

It’s frustrating and confusing to manually click on every department tab to view clubs. Most students are disappointed with how poorly the school treats clubs.

Jared Buckhorn, a student who recently transferred from ELAC, said, “You can’t tell what clubs there are unless you walk into the department they hold the meetings in.” 

During his time at ELAC, he majored in Psychology and joined the club after the club adviser Randy Ludwig mentioned it throughout his classes. 

Ludwig welcomed everyone, even those who were not majoring in psychology. 

 “The Psychology Club really helped me out with presentations and participating in activities I would never do,” Buckhorn said.

He said one of the games played at the club meeting was charades. He was reluctant at first but decided to try despite feeling slightly embarrassed. 

“I wouldn’t have done it at first, but when I tried it, it was really fun. The people I met made it fun and easy to talk in,” he said. 

“I wish flyers were posted in different departments or even in some classrooms.” 

Buckhorn said clubs helped him break out of his shell. He said he made friends in the club.  

He wished other students could achieve the same, but he was disappointed that clubs were being neglected. 

If students log onto Canvas every day, there is no reason to not mention what clubs there are doing do can help push students to form connections.  

Online learning caused many students to become introverted and struggle to communicate outside of their homes.  

Even if clubs only meet via Zoom, they would still gain the skills as they are encouraged to get out of their comfort bubbles and become active in the same area of interest as their peers.

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